Monday, October 21, 2013

Tampa Museum of Art's 5x5 Fundraiser, 2013.

5x5 viewers looking at the art.

It's a relatively simple idea: Sell works sized 5 x 5 inches, hundreds of them, for a mere $25 each. Have the artists sign them en verso, so prospective buyers can't shop names, but have to rely on the work itself. Serve drinks for $5 each, food nibbles for the same price.

Prospective Buyers looking at the art.

Does it work? I got to the Museum early and meandered around the photography show. At 7, they closed. The blinds in the room where the seven hundred works were had not been drawn, so I was able to peep a bit. Knowing there would soon be a large crowd in that room, with unusual resolve, I made a choice and got in line, with only 7 people ahead.

Buyers milling around the work.

I spoke with multimedia artist, photographer, videographer and friend Laszlo Horvath during my wait, later with Jack Breit and his wife. Soon the line began growing, and in 30 mins it went past the end of the Glazer Children's Museum. At 8 the door opened. I went right for my piece and bought it. Soon the place was packed with prospective buyers meandering around, eyes glazed, oooh'ing and ahhh'ing at the art. I ran into several people, like Keith Arsenault, Rebecca Skelton, Tara Radosevich (whose work will be reviewed here soon) and many others. I went upstairs and took in the Photography show themed on water with Saint Pete Master Photojournalist and street photographer Joe Walles.

We were done a little after nine. I went downstairs, drank something, and ran into Abby Markov and Steve. We talked for  a bit, then I picked up my ceramic piece and headed home.

Some of the nearly 800 attendees coming into the TMA.

This was a great evening and fundraiser. Congratulations to the Tampa Museum of Art and to all the artists who contributed work for a great evening.

--- Luis

Live performers at TMA.

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